Orange County Firefighter Receives State EMS Award

Public Health & Safety

Orange County Fire Rescue Firefighter EMT Ryan Allen was awarded with the State EMS Award, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) of the Year on July 13.

The Florida Department of Health selected Allen for his brave performance during a critical care incident that occurred in November 2015. The State EMS Award is presented to an EMT who has demonstrated extraordinary qualities in patient care and medical control as well as someone who has performed above and beyond the call of duty.

“We are honored to have one of our own firefighter/EMTs selected to receive this award,” said Fire Chief Otto Drozd III. “Ryan is an exceptional example of our department’s commitment to serving our community when it matters most, and we thank the Florida Department of Health for the recognition.”

Allen was awarded with the Medal of Valor by Orange County Fire Rescue and Orange County Sheriff’s Office earlier this year. He was also named the 2015 Firefighter of the Year by the American Legion.

“In November, Ryan risked his life to rescue a patient who was trapped in an upside-down vehicle that was partially submerged in water,” said Drozd. “He is a true hero who demonstrated service before self and exemplifies our core values of Duty, Respect and Integrity.”

Without an established air supply, Allen dove underwater in an attempt to locate the patient. Allen identified an air pocket and gasped for one last breath as he dove down into the submerged portion of the car. He rescued the trapped patient by removing the seatbelt and swam the patient to shore. His efforts enabled first responders to restore the patient’s vitals on the way to the hospital.

The 26 Annual Excellence in EMS Awards ceremony was held on July 13 at the DoubleTree by Hilton near Universal Studios.

For more information about Orange County Fire Rescue, as well as emergency and safety information, visit or contact Public Information Officer Kat Kennedy, (407) 836-9074.

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